After Newtown: fast response in Grand Rapids, MN

This morning, we were working here at the house and my wife and I both got notification calls from the Grand Rapids (Minn.) School District. Law enforcement had contacted the superintendent about a potential danger at one of the schools in the district (not our kids’ school). Here is the notification we got from Superintendent Joe Silko this morning:

Good morning residents of District 318. This is Superintendent Joe Silko and I wish to update you on an incident that occurred this morning, Friday, January 4th.

I received a phone call from the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department notifying me that an individual, an adult male, had contacted the crisis response center and was threatening suicidal action. When law enforcement traced his cell phone, it pinged in the area of the Robert J. Elkington Middle School. Later it pinged in the area of Southwest Elementary School and then back in the area of the middle school.

The individual was located in his residence and is being dealt with by law enforcement. At no time was the individual ever in one of our school buildings. The district took precautionary measures and limited the access to our buildings. As buses and cars carrying students and staff were already in transit, we restricted the drop off and delivery of students until we could ensure that all sites were indeed safe. At no time were any students ever in danger.

Our schools are now running as usual and I want to assure you that everyone is safe and secure.

Once again I am impressed with the level of safety and security provided by our law enforcement agencies. Their quick response to the situation, as well as, keeping the district informed along the way, makes me feel proud to be a resident and leader of this district. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

The incident had already been handled when we were notified of the situation. I am left amazed at the law enforcement coordination in this. No, the children weren’t in any direct danger, but they could have been. You really have to remark that these children are being kept as safely as possible. So much we can do, and yet so much still left to the unknown hand of fate.

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